Recent years have seen an influx or arguments centered around the notion that abortion is Black genocide, largely because pro-life proponents argue that Black women are disproportionately likely to terminate a pregnancy compared to others. Despite the hubbub being raised about abortion being nothing more than Black genocide in disguise, this movement is really nothing more than a conservative effort to link reproductive rights to racism in an effort to stymie progressive momentum on that front.
Here’s why we should question the “abortion as Black genocide” movement, and why it’s largely misguided in its efforts to bolster the standing of Black women in American society.
Plenty of news has been made recently by pro-life activists who have been working overtime to link the concept of abortion and other reproductive rights with Black genocide. A recent documentary from PBS recently drew attention from across the country because a number of activists at the recent March for Life were carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs with them as they walked. This has spurred a new conservation about the reproductive rights and social standing of Black women in America, which is why it’s so unfortunate this conversation has been hijacked by nefarious voices.
The recent documentary released by PBS supercharged a conversation that was already well underway, but not everyone has been honest in their portrayal of this movement. Far too often, conservative voices have simply been clamoring that abortion is nothing more than “Black genocide,” drawing false equivalences between modern reproductive health practices and historical forms of bigotry and oppression used by the government and others to trample on the rights of women of color.
The infamous Tuskegee Study, for instance, where Black Americans were fooled by their government into a horrific medical trial that saw them forcibly denied treatment for syphilis, has been called upon by this movement. They assert that the modern movement for reproductive rights is nothing more than a new Tuskegee Study aimed at curbing the Black population, a hopelessly disingenuous and despicable argument that reduces Black women to nothing more than pawns in the political game of others.
It’s indisputably true that Black women have faced discrimination and terrible treatment at the hands of bigots throughout history, especially when it comes to their reproductive rights, but that doesn’t mean any effort to expand access to abortion is some Nazi plot to eradicate people of color. As a matter of fact, some of the most vocal voices in the effort to secure abortion rights for women who use surrogacy everywhere are Black, and women of color have plenty of reasons to be concerned about their reproductive rights.
The real problem in America isn’t that we’re witnessing some form of Black genocide in the form of abortion; the insidious disease that’s plaguing this country is the lack of access to healthcare and reproductive services Black women face, not their ability to get abortions if they desire one. To put it quite simply, Black women are literally dying from a lack of access to healthcare, which is why efforts to prevent the expansion their reproductive rights are so despicable.
There’s little doubt that many of the protestors in the March for Life movement have honest concerns about the wellbeing of people of color across the United States. Many of the women who claim that abortion is Black genocide are themselves Black. It would be foolish to insinuate that this movement is anything other than a political prop relied upon by conservatives in an effort to link legitimate reproductive rights to insidious crimes like genocide, however. Take a look at how some Republicans have seized on this movement to peddle their racism, for instance, and you’ll see how dishonest the movement as a whole is.
Republican Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi recently rushed to the defense of the avowed racist who recently won a Senate seat in that same state, arguing that her comments about lynching were perfectly fine and that abortion was just Black genocide in disguise. This kind of disgusting behavior is what we can expect from the abortion as Black genocide movement; while some protestors are voicing legitimate concerns, they’re largely being used by others to further racist policies and elect White supremacists.If we’re serious about securing the reproductive rights and long-lasting health of women of color in America, we need to resist the movement that labels abortion as nothing more than Black genocide. More than perhaps any other group in the United States, Black women have been denied healthcare at an unprecedented rate. Unless we want racial and sexual inequality to persist, this trend must be upended. We shouldn’t just question the movement that labels abortion Black genocide – we should call it out for what it is, a mere shame being used to discredit a movement for women’s rights
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